Friday, May 20, 2011

Multiple benefits drive videoconferencing’s continuously expanding apps

LONDON, UK: Due to less travel and, in consequence, reduced number of regular in-person meetings, companies look for tools that enable to build and consolidate business relations while saving time and money. Videoconferencing comes here as a key solution. In the next few years, this market revenue growth will be mainly driven by an increased adoption of videoconferencing as part of unified communication solutions as well as the penetration of video in SMBs.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the market reached $518.3 million in 2010, growing at a rate of 20.3 percent from the previous year.

“The need for companies to reduce their travel cost while maintaining communication with their workers and clients will drive the European videoconferencing endpoints market,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Iwona Petruczynik. “Increasingly stringent environment policies imposed by the European Parliament will also promote market development.”

Enterprises can avoid common travelling and accommodation expenses, as well as lost productivity time. Moreover, videoconferencing can accelerate the decision-making process and enhance teamwork among an ever-more dispersed workforce.

“Educators can use videoconferencing as a convenient method for interactive access to classes, meetings and distance learning while physicians can leverage it to provide consultations and patient diagnostics,” adds Petruczynik. “Courts can deploy it to increase prison security and conduct video arrangements, while government offices can employ it to track daily strategic missions.”

However, the difficulty of attaching a hard-dollar ROI to the benefits of visual communications continues to prevent large-scale investments. In addition, the adoption of videoconferencing is largely dependent on the human element. The effort needed in changing established work behaviours and substituting live interaction with video communications remains a major restraint for adoption.

“The misconception that videoconferencing services are communication tools aimed at large enterprises is hindering its adoption among small and medium businesses (SMBs),” remarks Petruczynik. “Moreover, weak infrastructure and low bandwidth, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, are having an adverse effect on the videoconferencing endpoints market.”

The pace of adoption in Europe will remain strong over the next few years, as the new generation of videoconferencing systems offer enhanced value proposition and demand levels continue to remain high. The videoconferencing market revenue growth will be generated thanks to increased adoption of videoconferencing as part of unified communications solutions, as well as the rising penetration of video in SMBs.

“Vendors are steadily resolving security, firewall traversal, and Quality of Service issues associated with video communications between multiple sites, thereby easing inter-company communications,” concludes Petruczynik. “In addition, efforts by vendors and customers in verticals like government and healthcare (telemedicine) to harness the power of videoconferencing are leading to a wider application base. Both these factors will expand the potential target market for videoconferencing systems and lead to increased adoption.”

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